Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau
Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 | 2 a.m.
The latest and greatest in automobile customization will take center stage in Las Vegas as SEMA returns this week.
In its 51st year, SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) takes place Tuesday-Friday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. About 140,000 people are expected, with 2,500 new products from more than 2,400 companies on display.
Featuring the $41.2 billion automotive aftermarket, the show offers a wide array of products for the estimated 70,000 buyers in attendance. About 25 percent of the attendees are from outside the U.S.
“The SEMA Show is unique in that it brings together every segment of the automotive industry, from hot rods to off-roads, mobile electronics and collision repair,” said Peter MacGillivray, vice president, events and communications for SEMA.
Technology that enhances the driving experience and products surrounding Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are the most anticipated.
These include products such as blind-spot monitoring, lane-change assistance, forward-collision warnings, automated lighting, adaptive cruise control and automated emergency braking.
Thinkware will show its latest dash cam features and accessories. The company’s various cams offer family-safe drive monitoring for teenage and elderly drivers and technology to record clear video in a low-light situations.
"Technology advancements in dash cams have made amazing strides in areas such as family and vehicle safety, battery life and recording quality,” said Brian Yang, Thinkware general manager of international business development. “We're excited to put our products in people's hands at shows like SEMA and others, where American consumers can witness firsthand how new dash cam technologies are integrating into the overall driving experience in versatile and powerful ways."
Interactive demonstrations are always among SEMA’s highlights. This year’s show includes new demos like the Mobil1 x Red Bull Racing Light Up, where the youngest-ever Formula 1 racer, Max Verstappen, will immerse the SEMA Ignited after-party crowd in smoke and visceral sounds from a championship-winning V8 Grand Prix engine spinning toward 18,000 RPM.
An array of celebrities will make appearances through the week, including Jay Leno, NASCAR drivers Kurt Busch and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the John Force Racing Team and Sammy Hagar.
Special events such as the Battle of the Builders, an all-girls build and a Velocity Channel casting call are expected to draw large crowds.
Recognizing and celebrating proven vehicle builders market across several categories, the Battle of the Builders is one of the most well-known builder competitions. Judges whittle dozens of entries down to the Top 12. The top builders themselves will then take over and look at each other's vehicles before the ultimate winner is announced Friday at SEMA Ignited.
A SEMA app provides useful information such as show hours; details on ground transportation; maps of the show grounds and halls; and a list of special events with times and locations. Attendees can download the app here.